The tiny church of Tauern – about mermaids and dwarfsContact
In the region of Central Carinthia, just a stone’s throw away from Lake Wörthersee and Lake Ossiachersee, we would like to take you on a walk along a woody mountain ridge to a tiny church which, legend has it, was built by a mermaid. Now how would I know that? Well, to get away from work on our holiday farm and to clear my head I am interested in legends, fairytales and stories. When you go on this four-hour slow-down tour, I would like to give you a little booklet with this legend to take with you. The Kirche vom Tauern is located in a wonderful vantage point, just next to the large Tauern pond – a peaceful oasis deep in the centre of the forest.
AT A HIGH LEVEL. Starting out at our spa farm, you walk along the Ossiacher Tauernstraße (low traffic) uphill through the woods until you reach a wooden cross and a large clearing on the left-hand side. Note that you have already reached the high plateau of the Ossiacher Tauern range at an altitude of 926 m. Now follow this fairly stony path that will take you across meadows and fields. Just take your time and enjoy the countryside. After ten minutes you’ll reach a place with very beautiful old buildings where the Carinthian Chamber of Agriculture breeds horses and bulls. You will also see pastures with cows and calves and the church belonging to Ossiach Monastery, the so-called Tauernkirchlein. Large old chestnut trees will welcome you from afar.
FAIRYTALE SILENCE. Go into the tiny church, find a suitable place to sit down and open the little booklet. This special place is shrouded in legend: “Once upon a time when mermaids still lured people into the depths with their enchanting song, when deep in the forest elves danced round in circles and dwarfs lived inside mountains guarding their treasures, there lived a fisherman and his wife. One evening they rowed across the lake and there was a full moon...” Stay here for as long as you like and after leaving the church, head downhill to the right in the direction of the Tauern pond, only 500 metres away.
My favourite spot is a weather-beaten little bench on the eastern shore, you can’t miss it. Take a seat and breathe in deeply for a couple of times and let your mind wander. If you like, close your eyes and try to perceive the good vibrations coming from the Tauernteich pond. This is such a peaceful and quiet place protected by the woods surrounding it. Now, if not sooner, you will be gripped by the profound calmness. Let your eyes wander across the pond to the edge of the forest. Perhaps you can even catch a glimpse of one of the fairy creatures you read about in the church.
When you feel well and balanced, get ready to return to the farm. The same well-marked trail will lead you back to Köstenberg, to our farm.